Rates

The Living Wage doesn’t work

“Focus on improving skills and paying what a job is worth is best way for businesses to recognise their responsibility to the communities in which they operate – not paying a ?subjective and artificial? Living Wage.”, writes?Michael Barnett, head of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

All businesses, including councils hire on merit, so paying a higher rate without asking for better performance is not sound business practice. Private sector businesses would soon go out of business, but councils take the easy option – they simply pass the cost on to rate payers.

“That?s why the ?living wage? is not good business, or good for business. Most businesses recognise this. “It is of concern, however, that Auckland Council and others are leading the charge on this flawed concept – they don?t face up to ?real business? price-cost pressures like other businesses do, and instead are expedient in exploiting the revenue they receive from ratepayers,” said Mr Barnett.

The $10,000 difference between the just under $32,000/year minimum wage and new $42,000/year living wage is a significant extra ?social? cost to make up.

Of course, the Auckland Chamber recognises that low wages can make it difficult for workers and their families. But Government welfare policies exist to address this, including the setting of a ?minimum? wage to prevent unscrupulous employers paying too little. Read more »

Didn’t take Phil Goff long to threaten rates hikes of up to 16%

Phil Goff is just like Len Brown, but with his pants up.

He has been posturing for weeks over fuel taxes or tolls or some other way to pay for his dopey train set he inherited from Len Brown.

Now his cunning plan has been revealed. He is going to blame the government for ratcheting up rates by a threatened 16%.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff will have to find a new way to fund the city’s much-needed transport projects.

Cabinet has officially ruled out introducing a regional fuel tax to cover the city’s $400 million annual transport funding shortfall.

Mr Goff says the council is running out of alternatives to increasing rates by 16 percent next year. ?

Read more »

We just got rid of a tax & spend mayor, welcome to the new tax & spend mayor

phil goff like len brown zipper up

Phil Goff is spending up large with just five minutes in the job.

He’s promised light rail, and now a living wage for council workers. he needs to fund that somehow, and like all Labour politicians, there is only one way to fund things…with new taxes.

Limiting the annual increase in Auckland rates, raising $30 million from a visitor levy and introducing a fuel tax are among proposals being put forward by mayor Phil Goff.

So, he’s limiting rates so he doesn’t get hammered on that but wants you to all pay more with a fuel tax that would be way more than any rates increase. Hands up those in Auckland who want to pay more for petrol for Phil to spend on the living wage? Anyone? Anyone?

Mr Goff hopes the proposals can become key measures in Auckland Council’s 2017/18 annual budget to be adopted next June.

This included increasing rates for Auckland property owners by 2.5 per cent rather than the planned 3.5 per cent annual increase. ? Read more »

First praise for Phil Goff? From a union

Stuff you rate payers. Whether they deserve it or not, everyone at Auckland Council will now get an arbitrary living wage.

E tu has welcomed the swift assurance of Auckland?s new Mayor that Auckland Council can easily afford to pay the Living Wage to most of its staff.

But the union says this must also include the many workers employed by contractors to provide council services.

Phil Goff says he can find the estimated $4.1 million dollars to pay the Living Wage to directly employed and CCO staff.

E tu?s Assistant National Secretary, John Ryall says Auckland has elected a Living Wage mayor, and a majority Living Wage council, thanks to a new North Shore councillor.

“This is great news for the staff who will get this extra money,” says John.

“Phil?s commitment is clear, and with majority council support, this is a real win for the many campaigners and voters who supported Living Wage candidates.”

Read more »

It’s a pity Palino won’t get to try

Ratepayers in Auckland have faced massive rates increases forced on them by a wasteful council that believes it knows how to spend ratepayers? money better than ratepayers know how to spend it themselves. Since the formation of the Auckland Council rates have risen from an initial increase of 2.9% pa to last year?s unprecedented 9.9% pa. Many ratepayers have had increases far in excess of these levels.

Even these huge rates increases have been insufficient to fund council?s reckless spending. In the last five years Council debt/liabilities have increased by approximately $5 billion dollars. This means that the Auckland Council in five years has accumulated more debt/liabilities than the combined accumulated debt of all of its predecessors over the previous 100 years.

Rates and Debt increases have been matched by a massive increase in spending. Council has simply increased rates and borrowings rather than curbing spending or seeking efficiencies. This huge increase has largely been the result of poor quality and unnecessary spending on non-core activities, personal pet projects and huge cost blowouts.

As it stands, Auckland Council?s budget is significantly outside the norms of New Zealand local government. For example, staff salary spending (including consultants) is approximately 27% of all expenditures while the historical average had been closer to 20%.

Auckland Council?s discretionary spending on non-core areas is currently running at 26% of total spending. Many other Councils? spending on non-core areas is often less than half this percentage. Read more »

Mayoral hopeful Vic Crone wants to increase water rates on some property investors

Obviously there are no donations coming in from developers…so under the bus they go from Vic Crone, who is now starting to sound very much like a tax-and-spend socialist.

Auckland mayoral candidate Vic Crone has come up with a novel way of cracking down on land-banking developers.

She wants to use water meters to find empty houses. Homes or properties where no water is being used would be slapped with hefty rates bills.

She obviously has no idea what a land banker is…I would bet there are no water meters on land that is just sitting idle at the moment. This is just yet another dopey statement from an idiot of a candidate.

The council says land-bankers are sabotaging attempts to speed up the construction of new homes.

The council is lying; they are the ones sabotaging attempts at greenfield development . Read more »

Auckland Council hopes to save their jobs by signing off on 2.4% rates rise

The Auckland Councillors have voted in yet another rates increase.

They are hoping that with this smaller increase that people will forget their massive increases over the last six years.

Aucklanders will pay an average 2.4 percent more in rates next year.

Auckland Council’s annual plan means household rates will rise by 2.6 percent and business rates by 1.7 percent.

Much of today’s council debate centred on a management proposal to cash-up as much as two-thirds of a $330 million investment fund over the next two years, if needed.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown describes this year’s record low rate rise as a “steady as she goes” effort. ? Read more »

What does it mean when politicians say rates increases will only be at the rate of inflation?

When the “Super City” was formed in Auckland we were told by the politicians that there would be huge savings to be had as result of amalgamation.

Most of us thought that would mean rates reductions. We were all wrong.

Then the citizens of Auckland elected Len Brown who proceeded to tell us all that average rates increases were at the rate of inflation, or a small percentage above. We foolishly re-elected him in 2013 and he proceeded to ratchet rates up even higher once the 10% legislative cap was removed. The last rates increase was described as an average of 9.9%.

But what does that mean in reality?

A reader emailed me. He is superbly well qualified to perform the necessary calculations, but has requested that his name be withheld.

Cam

The reason for this note is that I was doing the home office expense analysis for my tax return and I thought you might be interested in the Auckland City rates component on our home: ? Read more »

Face of the day

Penny Bright protests Cameron Slater's High Court Bid to block media from publishing information hacked from his Gmail and Facebook accounts including exchanges with accountants, doctors, lawyers and personal communication with his wife.

Penny Bright protests Cameron Slater’s High Court Bid to block media from publishing information hacked from his Gmail and Facebook accounts including exchanges with accountants, doctors, lawyers and personal communication with his wife.

Today’s face of the day, activist Penny Bright, will have to pay over $34,000 to Auckland City Council. Penny didn’t think Cam and I had a right to keep personal conversations, which were hacked by a criminal, private. She was all for the MSM spreading our personal conversations far and wide for the titillation of the masses. I don’t think Penny should have been allowed to get away with stealing from the council for almost a decade but I do think she should become Auckland’s Mayor. Do you want to know why?

Read more »

Mayoral aspirant Penny Bright is not paying rates – Court decision reserved

Photo: whaleoil.co.nz

Photo: whaleoil.co.nz

This is somewhat frustrating

A judicial decision on Auckland Council’s court battle with activist Penny Bright over unpaid rates has been reserved.

Ms Bright has refused to pay rates on her Kingsland home since 2007, because she says the council does not operate with transparency. Read more »

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